Downtown Kutztown businesses will host a series of poetry events during the month of April, in celebration of National Poetry Month. This series of readings, performances and workshops will be entitled “Nothing Rhymes With Kutztown,” and will feature local writers and poetry enthusiasts.
National Poetry Month was first introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to highlight and celebrate poetry in the United States. It has been held every April since its inception, with libraries, bookstores, publishers and authors organizing special events nationwide.
Firefly Bookstore has been the driving effort behind this year’s celebration in Kutztown, and has appreciated the support from the community for the upcoming events.
“Poetry is one of the best-selling sections in the store,” according to Matthew Williams, co-owner of Firefly Bookstore. “Since opening, we’ve discovered a large community of writers and poetry-lovers. There are so many creative people here.”
April 5, The Independent Space will be holding the Affordable Art Original Works Show that evening in conjunction with Downtown Kutztown’s First Friday. This will include an Open Mic set for poetry, from 8 to 8:30 p.m. This is a family-focused event, and all ages are welcome.
Global Libations will be hosting a Beat Poet night on April 12. This will include reading the work of some of the great poets of the era, including Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gregory Cors. Also included will be readings of poetry from William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, who are known for their works of fiction. This event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m.
On April 19, Uptown Espresso Bar will be holding an Open Mic Night especially for poetry. This event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. There will be published authors reading from their work, and an opportunity for local authors to perform. Anyone who is interested in signing up to read or perform should get in touch with Firefly Bookstore.
There will also be poetry activities for children. On April 13 from 12 to 2 p.m., Firefly Bookstore will have poetry readings in the store. These will be from well-loved authors such as Shel Silverstein, author of “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, Roald Dahl author of “Revolting Rhymes” and A. A. Milne author of “Now We Are Six”. All ages are invited to attend this event.
An additional children’s event will be at the Eckhaus Gallery on April 27, with a Children’s Poetry Workshop. This will be open for children of all ages, and will be held from 12 to 3 p.m. Children will have a chance to learn about writing poetry and have a chance to write their own short work.
Lastly, there will be a Teen Poetry event held at The Independent Space on April 20. The Kutztown Area High School Poetry Club will be holding an evening of performances and readings from 7 to 9 p.m. This promises to be an exciting and energetic event, including readings from favorite poets and of the performers’ own work.
The owners of Firefly Bookstore are looking forward to the April celebration, and believe that there is a interest for similar events downtown.
“We really believe that the community is hungry for more artistic outlets. There is a wellspring of creative people here, and they just need a venue,” claimed Rebecca Laincz of Firefly Bookstore. “We’d like this to be an annual event for National Poetry Month.”
Anyone who is interested in participating in the upcoming events should contact the owners of Firefly Bookstore, who are coordinating with the venues.
Eckhaus Gallery – 157 West Main Street, Kutztown. Phone: 610-683-6870
Firefly Bookstore – 230 West Main Street, Kutztown. Phone: 484-648-2712
Global Libations – 21 East Main Street, Kutztown. Phone: 484-646-9683
The Independent Space – 19 East Main Street, Kutztown.
Uptown Espresso Bar – 466 West Main Street, Kutztown. Phone: 610-683-6401
Provided by Firefly Bookstore.